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ADVAS / Natural Supports  / Booklet  / Spidey-Sense: Things to watch for


Spidey-Sense: Things to watch for

It is often hard, and might even feel impossible, to share how we are feeling. Sometimes we think we are wrong for feeling a certain way, or perhaps we think we might be judged for how we feel. Sometimes we worry about whether or not people can help us, or if speaking openly might add to someone else’s distress.

It is always a good idea to communicate how you are feeling. Whether you talk to someone you are close to, a clinical or service professional, or any other caring person – the simple act of putting thoughts into words can give new and important perspectives. Reaching out, or inviting in, is also how we can start connecting to help, if any is needed.

Thinking about yourself and those around you, there are signs that a person might not be OK and might need help from you or another person.

If you or someone you know experiences any of the following, please reach out for help immediately:

  • Thinking or sharing about hurting a person (themself or someone else), or ending a life
  • Sharing about death, dying or suicide
  • Looking for ways to hurt themself or end their life
  • Self-destructive behaviour, such as drug or alcohol use, or dangerous activities, that are harming that person or others

If someone is at imminent risk of harm, call 911. Otherwise, call 211 or your local distress centre. You can also find a list of resources for our community at

Other things to watch for: In relationships

For yourself or others near you, there are signs that a relationship may be unhealthy or unsafe. Watch for these:

  • One person has control over another
  • Boundaries are not respected
  • One person uses hurtful words or hurtful touch against the other
  • Someone is more withdrawn, anxious or depressed
  • Socializing and communicating with friends and family is less, or stops entirely
  • Significant changes in behaviour
  • Secretive behaviour
  • Concealing injuries

Other things to watch for: Everyday

For yourself and the people close to you, watch for these signs that a person might be feeling overwhelmed or experiencing a crisis:

  • Significant personality change
  • Agitation, anger, anxiety or moodiness
  • Withdrawal or isolation from others
  • Poor self-care, including neglecting hygiene and appearance
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Significant change in their appearance (weight loss or gain, for example)
  • Extreme difficulty concentrating or focussing
  • Feeling sad or unmotivated for more than two weeks

If you know someone who is experiencing the above, be thoughtful and caring when you reach out to them to check in.